Winter Weather & Holidays Create the Perfect Scenario for Slip and Fall Accidents
With the end of the year comes the holiday season and winter weather in New Jersey. This can be a troublesome combination, as people are hustling and bustling around town in the ice, snow, and sleet. Not only can winter weather cause problems on the roads, but it can also be dangerous for people on foot who are entering and exiting stores, restaurants, and other businesses.
Snow and ice accumulation on parking lots and sidewalks can easily cause customers and passersby to slip and fall down. This is especially true if there is “black ice,” which is often unnoticeable to pedestrians yet very slick and hazardous. In addition, when customers walk through parking lots or on sidewalks that are covered in snow or slush and then enter establishments, it is almost unavoidable that they will track wetness into the building with them. This can create puddles and other slippery conditions that cause people to slip and fall in entryways.
In New Jersey, owners of single-family residences do not generally have a duty to remove ice and snow from driveways or sidewalks. On the other hand, businesses are specifically inviting customers on their premises for financial gain, so they do have the duty to make sure the premises are in safe condition for visitors, which includes removal of snow, ice, or slush accumulation. Business owners also have the duty to make reasonable efforts to clean up puddles and water on the floor inside entryways and throughout the establishment to avoid slip and falls inside. If a business cannot take care of accumulation, ice, or wet floors right away, they must post visible signs giving clear warnings for customers to take caution.
Slip and fall accidents are common during the winter and holiday season in many locations, including:
● Large box stores, such as Walmart
● Grocery stores
● Smaller retail boutiques
● Shopping malls
● Restaurants or bars
● Multi-unit residential complexes, including apartments and condos
If an owner or management of any of the above establishments fails to take the necessary steps to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition, customers can often slip and fall, sustaining serious injuries. In these situations, the businesses can often be held liable for all of an injured customer’s medical expenses and other losses related to their accident and injuries.
Insurance companies for businesses will often fight against liability whenever possible, often making incredibly low settlement offers to customers who face significant losses. You should always have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side who can negotiate with the insurance company and take further legal action when needed.
At the law firm of Brady, Brady & Reilly, LLC , we hope everyone has an accident and injury-free winter and holiday season. However, if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, please call 201-997-0030 or contact us online. We will evaluate your case at no cost to you and only collect legal fees if we recover compensation on your behalf.